Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Line and Color

Today we started out in Tech Center when our computer teacher, Mr. Scott Seagren, discussed “netiquette” and the students started to create a PowerPoint on what they thought good netiquette is. 

After recess, we finished up an art project with Mr. Bret Alberson, a district art specialist, about line, shape, and color. Some of these abstract pieces are really fantastic, aren’t they?

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Homework:  (1) Write all words in cursive two times. Write sentences for words 6-10. (2) Do the spelling jumble. (3) Do the “Making Change” practice sheet. (4) Fourth grade math:  Do pages 148-149. Fifth grade math:  Do pages 154-155.

Many fourth graders will also need to finish the “Newcomers from Mexico” study sheet. They had about a 30 minutes to start this in class. 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Monday, Monday

Today we started a new book as we are finally finished with Holes. We will be reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe carefully to really study the elements of story construction. The students enjoyed reading it today, and some of them even tried a bit of a British accent!

Homework:  (1) Write all the spelling words two times each in cursive. Write sentences for words 1-5 only. (2) Divide all the words into syllables on a separate paper. This can be in printing. (3) Do The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe packet. It’s not quite as much work as it looks, and the students had time to start on it in class. (4) Do the Three times Three paper. (5) By some weird coincidence, both fourth and fifth grades are working on pages 146 and 147 in their respective books. 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Some Scenes from Today's Field Trip

The students had a great time riding the metro. For some of them, it was their first time on the subway.


We had two amazing docents who explained the history of the founding of Los Angeles to us.


The students learned about King Carlos of Spain who sent the soldiers and Franciscan missionaries to settle Alta California.

King Carlos

We had a chance to look into the oldest house in Los Angeles, the Avila Abode.


The Day of the Dead, de dia de los muertos, is coming up, and there were already some decorations.


After an hour of learning, the students got to go shopping!


And after all that shopping, lunch was a welcome treat.


And soon it was time to go back to school with a few new treasures.


Homework:  Enjoy a free day!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

We're Shakin'

Today was the big statewide earthquake drill and we observed it in room 19 by practicing our drop, cover, and hold skills.


After that, we had to go out to the yard where we waited until the staff practiced the search and rescue and request and reunion procedures. And there were a bunch of announcements, too. It was boring….


We mostly finished up the mandated reading and math tests today. That was boring, too. But tomorrow will bring music and fifth grade PE. 

Homework:  (1) Do the spelling word search in lieu of the cursive. (2) Do the spelling crossword. (3) Do the Factors worksheet. (4) Fourth grade math:  Do pages 124-135. Fifth grade math:  Do pages 136-137. 

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Mostly Dull

It was a mostly boring day. We had to work on district-mandated literacy and math tests today. These are supposedly “aligned to the Common Core standards”, but they don’t bear much resemblance to the actual materials in our text books. If you haven’t had a chance yet, look at Steve Lopez’s column in today’s Times to hear more about the mismatch of curriculum and materials in our district. 

We did have one bright spot. We worked with Mr. Pratt today in theater class doing story improvisation. The students took the classic fable of Fox and Crow and turned it into a short play. Our kids were great! Mr. Pratt asked several of them to stay behind to model it for the students in room 12. 


Homework:  (1) Do spelling words 11-15. (2) Do the spelling jumble. (3) Do the Division with Remainders sheet. Some of the students also need to finish the rough draft of the narrative - check with your child. 



Monday, October 13, 2014


Sort of an uneventful Monday. We did our usual Reader’s Workshop. We corrected some math tests.We went to the library. In math, we looked at equalities and the order of operations.  Fifth graders presented some more of their Native American reports. We finished off Holes today. Everybody agreed it was great.

Homework:  (1) Write spelling words 1-5 fives times each and a sentence for each. All should be in cursive. (2) Do “Writing a Journal Sample” and “Recalling a Character”. Be sure to use the text of Holes for specific details. (3) Do Division with a Remainder. Show all work. (4) Fourth grade math:  Do pages 120-121 and “Change Challenge”. Fifth grade math:  Do pages 124-126 and “Parentheses”. 

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Quickly Went By

Tuesdays go by quickly and today seemed to go by particularly fast. We started out the day in Tech Center where the students continued practicing their typing skills. A few of them are typing over 25 words per minutes. Impressive, isn’t it? After recess, we did math. Today we talked a lot about what it means to work effectively in a group before math time, and when the time for group work came one group agreed to be filmed so that we can evaluate their performance tomorrow. With both fourth and fifth grades, I spent time during the grade-level instructional time getting them ready for Thursday’s field trip as well as doing some specific activities related to either Native Americans or the native peoples of California. And, of course, we enjoyed our time with our reading buddies from room 2.


Homework:  (1) Write spelling words 6-10 five times each plus a sentence in cursive. (2) Do the spelling crossword. (3) Fourth grade History and Science: Read “What’s the Catch?” and do “The Coast” study sheet. Fifth grade History and Science:  Read “What’s the Catch?” and continue work on PowerPoint. (4) Do No Remainders worksheet. Show all work. (5) Fourth grade math:  Do pages 104-105 plus “Roll Out”. Fifth grade math:  Do pages 115-116 plus “Family”. 

Monday, October 06, 2014

Back on Line

It’s been a while since I’ve posted, and I’m sorry if this caused any confusion with the homework. As many of you know, I’ve been dealing with trying to deal with getting my 91 year old mother’s finances in order in case she needs to be placed into a nursing home or becomes completely confused. It’s been overwhelming, and I still have at least one more trip back to Maine to help get things arranged.

The students did a great job with Mr. Halpern last week, and he reported that he would love to come back any time to such a delightful class. I know what he means. They are great indeed.

Homework:  (1) Write spelling words 1-5 five times each in cursive and write a sentence for each in cursive. (2) Do the spelling jumble. (3) Do the Holes study guide. (4) Do the Four Times Two practice paper. Be sure to show all work. (5) Fourth grade history:  Do the Early peoples study sheet. Fifth grade history:  Be ready to tell your legend or folktale tomorrow. Please have the PowerPoint on your native people ready by Friday. (6) Fourth grade math:  do pages 101-102. Fifth grade math:  Do pages 112-113.